In the Galleries
'All the World's a Stage' at New Milford's Silo Gallery.By Carol Ann Wilcock
The stage is set, the lights are up and the curtain is open in a stunning show by designer Susan Steinberg and artist Jessica Daryl Winer that opened Aug. 15 at the Silo Gallery in New Milford.
"I think the juxtaposition of the two types of work should be fun," said gallery irector Debbe Christensen. who perceived connection between Ms. Winer's paintings and Ms. Sicinberg's designs on the theme of "The World on Stage."
Not only are Ms. Sceinberg's table settings and individual plates and mugs stages in themselves, where she plays out her life experiences and her travels around the world but any table where she displays her work provides a dramatic backdrop.
Ms. Christensen explained that the Silo views tables as stages for just the kind of drama Ms. Steinberg creates.
Common "colors" between the two artists are their fine art backgrounds, their total immersion in their work, the piision and love they have for what they do and their interest in people.
"I have a fine art background as a painter," explained Ms. Steiniberg of Sherman, who graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., with a bachelor of fine arts and a maister of science degree in school pssychology from Southern Connecticut State University.
Ms. Steinberg's additional coursework in teaching certification, illustration and ceramics, journalism and design and photography have also influenced her career path.
"I love Matisse, I like fashion and I like to take things from nature as well," she said. "I like things to be happy with the joy of creating."
Ms. Steinberg's recent adventures in Egypt and Greece have influenced her sense of Precision and the color she brings to her design table.
But her immersion in the world of design and her involvement with large companies like Mikasa, Pfaltzgraff, Dixie, American Atelier, Bennington Pottery, Culver Industries and Fruit of the Loom is relatively new. Ms. Steinberg began her career as an art and special education teacher in various educational settings, where she took a special interest in the children she taught - enough to paint many of their portraits.
"I loved the kids," she said of her work in various schools with students front kindergarden through adults. "I always worked as hard as I do now, but I was pouring my time into teaching."
Leaving the security of a job with insurance benefits was not an easy leap for Ms. Steinberg, yet she knew there was a part of her she was repressing. "I didn't even hive it fix machine when I had people calling for my designs," she said.
Though she has been a designer for more than 15 years, it was only in the last four years that she formed her company Susan Steinberg Designs and began "solving design dilemmas for clients" full time.
From Paris scenes for Mikasa to dogs and cats and clothes on a clothesline for Pfaltzgraff mugs, Ms. Steinberg has a variety of venues for her designing passions. She has even used a journal front 1850 that she found at the Elephant's Trunk flea market in New Milford as inspiration for a rose design for American Atelier.
A pressed rose from one of the pages formed the design for the body of the plate, while the marbleized journal cover became inspiration for the plate's rim.
Ms. Steinberg, who created more than 60 original pieces for the Silo show, said she enjoys creating on the three-dimensional objects, even though currently most of her design work for companies is flat design work, either freehand or computer generated.
"When I create the piece, I think, 'OK, this will look good,'" she explained. 'That is the feeling part. It's not a flat design. It gives the feeling of the shape much better than if it were flat."
Ms. Steinberg said she began designing on premolded three dimensional bowls, pitchers, and plates when she took a ceramics class several years ago.
"I would buy the greenware, clean it, fire it and put my own designs on it," the designer explained, commenting that this is how she prepared the original pieces for "The World on Stage."
Always looking for the new and different to present to clients, Ms. Steinberg now spends much of her time in her studio creating original designs that will enhance a company's image.
"For anybody who has a dream, you can do it, especiallyin this country, she said. "You need a lot of courage, but you can do it. It's not always something you love, but it"s never boring and since you"re doing something you love, you never hate your job."
Commenting on life in general and the work that people create, using illustrations of ournals she has kept and scenes she has witnessed as an assistant in therapeutic psychodrama, Ms. Steinberg concluded. "You manifest your reality. If you want to make a life out of your art, you can."
"The World on Stage" opened Aug. 15 and will continue through Sept. 12.
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